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WARNING- BeCareful flying between Dubai & Cape Town with SAA

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
London, United...
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WARNING- BeCareful flying between Dubai & Cape Town with SAA

Be careful before considering to fly between Dubai and Cape Town with South African Airways (codeshare on a Emirates plane). My family and I were almost left stranded at Dubai Airport when we unable to collect our purchased tickets prior to the flight.

SAA told us twice that we could pick up pre-purchased tickets just prior to the flight but when we arrived, there was no SAA representative to be found throughout the airport. Apparently the office opened 5 minutes before the flight departed!!!

When we eventually got hold of the SAA rep by phone, he suggested we miss our booked flight, wait for the office to open and then hang around the airport for 24 hours - all this with a five year old child in tow. SAA refused any hotel accommodation during this period.

In order to get on the flight, we had to pay for a whole new set of tickets. Almost two months later and we are still waiting for a reimbursement for the flights that were initially purchased.

SAA did not answer emails, did not answer the phone when called and eventually, only after writing to the CEO, offered us a small goodwill gesture of ZAR1500 - that would hardly even cover the cost of a hotel in Dubai.

My advice - if you aren't able to get your tickets in advance, fly with Emirates instead - they actually have staff around before the flight!!

Cape Town Central...
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1. Re: WARNING- BeCareful flying between Dubai & Cape Town with SAA

Thanks for the SAA warning! [;\]

Illinois
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2. Re: WARNING- BeCareful flying between Dubai & Cape Town with SAA

britguy 7,

Hi. Did you purchase the tickets with a credit card? If so, you might ask them for some help in contacting SAA about a refund. With Capital One, you have 100 days to file a dispute. They were very helpful when I had a problem about being charged for extra tickets. I know it's not the same situation, but it would be someone else in your corner, letting SAA know that you're not going to go away until you get your money back.

This may be slightly off topic but I would appreciate some information if anyone knows the answer.

We will be flying with SAA in Dec. and Jan. Each time I check our itenerary I notice that it says "all tickets are not electronic, some routes require paper tickets".

My question is, how do you tell if your flight requires a paper ticket instead of electronic?

I'm afraid we'll get to the airport and be told we're supposed to have a paper ticket.

Am I just being really stupid about this? I've read lots of information on the SAA website, but can't find where it tells "which" routes require a paper ticket.

If anyone has any information I would appreciate it.

Many, many thanks!

Albany, New York
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3. Re: WARNING- BeCareful flying between Dubai & Cape Town with SAA

We had a similar problem- our online international tickets worked fine- picked up those tickets when we checked in. For our domestic flights, however, we had to pick up our online bought tickets at the reservation/customer service booth- which we didnt know-- as they required paper tickets...it was such a hassale- the wait was ~45 minutes- but after that, things ran relatively smoothly- minus some flight delays associated with the JNB airport.

Albany, New York
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4. Re: WARNING- BeCareful flying between Dubai & Cape Town with SAA

I should probably make this clear- we didnt fly thru Dubai internationally like you did (we flew New York to JNB). I can't believe the CEO didn't offer more compensation!

London, United...
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5. Re: WARNING- BeCareful flying between Dubai & Cape Town with SAA

Thanks for your comments. I'm already in process of getting a refund through the credit card company so hopefully no issues there. Still doesn't get SAA off the hook though. Their meagre apologies mean nothing.

Do let others know about this to avoid them being left stranded by SAA.

As for the paper vs electronic tickets, I'm afraid I can't help. If you can get paper tickets before you fly, you'll be safer. Certainly, you can't rely on SAA customer service staff for good advice - look where that left me!!

6. Re: WARNING- BeCareful flying between Dubai & Cape Town with SAA

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